‘Dig For Victory’ Needed to Save the PlanetDate Posted: 30 November 2023
Tom Glover, RWE’s UK Country Chair and Chair of the RWE UK Renewables Boards, addressed Cardiff Business Club Wednesday, November 29th, covering a wide range of issues on the climate, energy and their economic impact.
Recognising the challenging costs of energy in recent times, he said it was the foundation of the modern day economy because everyone uses it, and global events play a significant role in its price.
“The war in Ukraine, the surge in demand post-Covid, and green policies focussed on ensuring secure energy in the future together have a high impact on energy costs to business to society. It needs to become more predictable and less volatile.
“It is the most relevant issue in the world today.
“We are at an absolute crisis point. Many people can’t afford to pay their energy bills through the winter. The flooding we see in our recent summers is not normal. We are not a normal world anymore – and it can take us ten years to get planning consent for some of our renewable energy projects in what is a climate emergency.
“We need to change the narrative in the UK. Rather than people objecting to pylons in their communities we need schemes like Adopt a Pylon, similar to ‘Dig for Victory’ in the Second War World. People need to host infrastructure in their communities.”
Mr Glover outlined the strides the UK had made in recent decades, saying it has been a global leader in decarbonisation.
“The UK has reduced emissions by 50pc since 1990, and it is on course to hit its net zero target of 100pc by 2050.
“The power sector has decarbonised more than any other sector. Other sectors need to move more.”
Focussing on Wales, Mr Glover said South Wales was the second highest producer of emissions in the UK.
“The UK needs to do more to decarbonise South Wales. There is a huge opportunity but I accept it is very difficult for some industries to get there.”
On RWE, he said the firm was investing £15billion in the UK over the next eight years as the number one renewable energy generator, and the UK’s largest power generator. It produces 15pc of the UK’s electricity, supplying four million homes.